When we got up this morning, we had no idea what a wonderful day full of experiences lay before us! We had a rather leisurely breakfast by comparison to the other days, and needed to be in the foyer for 11am. 

We then got on the coaches and headed out - to no other than the Yas Marina circuit! 4 x 50 seater coaches racing around the track following a Jaguar F-Type! Not entirely sure “driving on an F1 Track” was on the risk assessment but Landrover has got it covered - phew! 

We then headed an hour or so towards Dubai where we came off the motorway and into the desert tracks. It transpires we were on royal land and were taking part in the activities on a special nature reserve.

So... off the coach we come and are immediately given a typical headdress to wear, and someone helped us put them on - if not I think British and handkerchief and looking stupid might all be used in the same sentence! 

We then climbed aboard our carriages - beautiful, but rickety, Defenders! A thrilling ride through the desert brought us to a Bedhouin camp where we learnt about falconry, and met Ziggy, the falcon. They did a flying display and explained what life as a falcon in the UAE is like - food,flight, air conditioned room -repeat! They pay thousands of dollars for these birds to race each other; it was fascinating g to find outa out the birds. We also met a Saluki hound and some cute goats - that did not want to be milked! 

We then got to go on a much longer drive into the reserve where we saw Oryx and little gazelle. I was blown away with how beautiful it can be and how it stretched for as far as the eye could see. 

Coming back to camp, we were in for a treat with henna tattoos, camel rides, homemade and typical food of the region - camel stew, lentil soup , roast lamb and speciality rices. Music and dancing entertained us and we sat under the starlit skies and almost forgot we have to be back in school on Thursday! 

This trip has made some fabulous memories - coming 7th in the World is remarkable and testament to this teams commitment and determination. Thanks must also go to Mr Howard, without whom this trip would not have happened. 

So to another adventure..... hope you all have a super Christmas and a happy New Year.

Mrs Nicholls.